Assistive technology: top 10 apps for disabled people (2023)

We all like to live as independently as possible, and for disabled people, technology and apps are an invaluable aid to achieving this.It seems that everyone nowadays owns a smartphone and tablet, and with that comes a seemingly unlimited world of apps to choose from.But which should youconsider and how could they enhance yourlife?

Here, our writers Carrie Aimes and Emma Purcell round up the top 10 apps for disabled people and why you should try them out, all updated for 2019.

Find practical and stylish disability living aids to make your life easier on the Disability Horizons Shop.

AccessAble app

Assistive technology: top 10 apps for disabled people (1)

AccessAble is a UK accessible travel app that takes the chance out of going out for disabled people. The app contains 75,000 detailed access guides telling you how accessible a venue, tourist attraction or public place is for your needs.

You can use the app’s accessibility symbols to filter results and places that suit you. For example, if you enjoy shopping and you’re a wheelchair user, you would search for a shopping centre that has wheelchair access, Blue Badge parking, step-free access, ramps, lifts and accessible toilets.

There is also accessibility information for people with other mobility issues, sensory impairments and intellectual disabilities. Moreover, you can check out photographs of a venue and save access guides for later.

AccessAble is free to download for iOS and Android devices.

Dragon Anywhere app

Assistive technology: top 10 apps for disabled people (2)

This dictation app enables you to create and edit documents of any length on your phone, tablet or laptop, all using your voice. By simply speaking into the device you cancreate text messages, compose emails and edit long documents, and then sync them with your Dropbox or cloud so they can be accessed on your computer.

(Video) Top 6 Assistive Technology For People With Disabilities

The Dragon Anywhere app is aimed at busy professionals needing to work while commuting. But it has obvious benefits for disabled people too. Apple iPhone and Andriod users can download it for free, but after a trial, you’ll have to pay (£9.99 a month and £99.99 a year).

Our tech writer Tom Housden has tried out this app, along with some of Dragon’s other dictation apps. See his article on dictation appsfor a full breakdown of how it works and what else is on offer.

Changing Places Toilet Finder app

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No matter what your disability, being able to reach an accessible public toilet in good time is a daily challenge. The free Changing Places Toilet Finder app, from the RADAR Key company,lists thousands of accessible toilets across the UK.

It is a comprehensive guide of more than 1,000 Changing Places toilets, which are extra-large toilets with changing facilities. The app shows you how far you are from one of the toilets, how to get there, the opening hours of the toilet, how to open the door, whether it is normally locked and information regarding hoists and slings.

The app is free and available on iTunesfor iPhone users and Google Play for Android users. You can also visit the Changing Placeswebsite to learn more about Changing Places toilets.

HelpTalk app

Assistive technology: top 10 apps for disabled people (4)

This app is a communication aid for people who are non-verbal or have a speech impairment. You can create a profile containing the spoken actions most useful to any situation, such as a specific event, travelling, working, education, socialising, plus much more, and suited for your day-to-day life. In addition, for people with reduced dexterity, there are a big Yes/No buttons.

This app is available in multiple languages and includes an emergency contact and location request services if you were to be in danger or go missing. HelpTalk can only be downloaded on Google Play.

Disabled Motoring app

(Video) Visually impaired can ‘see’ with this assistive technology

Assistive technology: top 10 apps for disabled people (5)

Disabled Motoring UK is a campaigning charity and magazine that aims to make life easier for disabled drivers, passengers and Blue Badge holders. Its app allows you to find accredited disabled parking, get help refuelling your vehicle and browse information on Blue Badges, as well as the latest news from the charity.

The app is free to download on iOS and Android devices but, for a fee, there are additional benefits you can sign up for. Becoming an online member will give you access to the members’ area on its website, as well as a monthly newsletter.

Alternatively, you can become a full/associate member and receive the monthly magazine and discounts on everyday goods, from groceries to holidays. It’ll also enable you to get help with motoring-related problems, such as parking tickets and local authority issues.The full/associate membership will cost £24 a year.

To find out more about Disabled Mobility UK, visit its website, and download the app on Google Play.

Physiotherapy Exercises

The Physiotherapy Exercises app contains more than 1,000 images illustrating 600 exercises suitable for those with spinal cord injury and neurological conditions. Search, select and save exercises for future reference and even suggest others if you wish.

Developed by physiotherapists, this is an invaluable source that does not require an internet connection once downloaded. Get the Physiotherapy Exercisesapp for free on iTunes.

UPDATE 2019: The developer of this app needs to update it to work with iOS 11.

Red Panic button app

Assistive technology: top 10 apps for disabled people (7)

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To be able to immediately and urgently notify a number of contacts of your whereabouts can be hugely beneficial if you’re disabled. If you’re older, have learning disabilities, or live on your own but rely on others, you might want to consider the Red Panic Button.

One tap of the red button sends alerts to your contacts via text, email, Facebook and Twitter. All you need to do is enter the details of those you wish to alert ahead of using the app, and they will receive a Google Maps link with your location.

Many features are free to both Android and iOS users, though there is the option to upgrade at a fee, which means you can even send a photo attachment and record a 10-second voice message with your alert. Gain more independence and security with this handy and easy to useRed Panic Buttonapp by visitingiTunesor Google Play.

Be My Eyes app

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This award-winning app allows people who are blind or visually impaired to request help from a sighted volunteer. You can receive assistance through a live video connection to a global network of volunteers who can assist you with a range of tasks.

The sighted volunteers will receive a notification on their phone when you ask for assistance. As soon as the first volunteer accepts the request, a live video link will be connected to you and the sighted volunteer.

You can then use your rear-facing camera to allow the sighted volunteer to see the item or subject you need assistance with or descriptions of. Support can be as simple as checking expiry dates or more complicated tasks such as navigating a public place.

The app can be used at any time of the day, anywhere in the world and is available in more than 180 languages. It is free to download on iTunes and Google Play.

Have You Heard

Assistive technology: top 10 apps for disabled people (9)

Designed for people with hearing impairments, this app will amplify voices around you so that you can better understand conversations with people in busy and loud places, such as with a friendin a restaurant or a colleaguein a meeting.

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You can focus on conversations either close by or further away by using the ‘focus near/far’ feature, and adjust the volume to suit you. If you still haven’t quite heard something, you can replay the last 20 seconds of a conversation at the press of a button.

To use it, you’ll need to connect a headphone to your phone. It’s free and only available on iTunes for iPhone users.

UPDATE 2019: The developer of this app needs to update it to work with iOS 11.

Uber taxis app

Having a disability means that public transport often isn’t an option, leaving you to rely on taxis. To stop you getting stranded, you can download the Uber app, allowing you to request a taxi ride from where you are using your phone.

To do so, simply create anaccount with your card or PayPal – no cash required – and select a vehicle to suit your needs. If you do want to plan ahead, the Scheduled Rides feature allows you to book a vehicle up to 30 days in advance.

Uber has two services aimed at helping disabled passengers get around. ItsuberACCESStaxis are equipped with a rear-entry ramp andfour-point restraints, enabling wheelchair users to ride safely and comfortably with one additional passenger. Its other accessible service, uberASSIST, is designed for those who don’t need a wheelchair-accessible vehicle, but require additional assistance on their journey.

All uberACCESS and uberASSIST partners have received Disability Equality Training from Transport for All and Inclusion London,and both cost the same as using uberX, one of Uber’s lowest-cost services.

UberACCESS (previously called uberWAV) is available in London, Manchester and Birmingham, and uberASSIST is available in London, Manchester, Birmingham, Leeds, and Sheffield. There are plans to roll out both into other areas soon.

Uberis free to download to Android and iOS phones, from Google Play or iTunes.

By Carrie Aimes and Emma Purcell

(Video) Top 3 Smartphone Application for Disabled Person like Deaf, Dumb and Armless

Find out more about Emma on her blog, Rock For Disability, and Carrie by visitingwww.lifeontheslowlane.co.uk.

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Get in touch by messaging us on Facebook, tweeting us @DHorizons, emailing us at editor@disabilityhorizons.com or leaving your comments below.

FAQs

What devices can help the disabled? ›

Some examples of assistive technologies are: Mobility aids, such as wheelchairs, scooters, walkers, canes, crutches1, prosthetic devices, and orthotic devices.

What activities can a disable person do? ›

Most people can engage in an active lifestyle through walking—including people with disabilities who are able to walk or move with the use of assistive devices, such as wheelchairs or walkers. In fact, walking is the most common form of physical activity reported among active adults with mobility disability.

How can I improve my disabled access? ›

Making reasonable adjustments for disabled access
  1. removing the practice, policy or procedure altogether.
  2. making exceptions to the practice, policy or procedure to accommodate disabled people.
  3. informing, instructing and training all employees so that they are aware of these changes.

What is an accessible version of an app? ›

Accessibility apps are applications that increase the accessibility of a device or technology for individuals with disabilities. Applications, also known as, application software, are programs that are designed for end users to be able to perform specific tasks.

What is the most common assistive technology? ›

Examples include:
  • magnifiers,
  • talking devices such as a talking thermostat,
  • Braille displays,
  • screen reading software,
  • text-to-speech systems using Optical Character Recognition (OCR),
  • large print materials, and.
  • phones with large tactile buttons.

How do people with disabilities use technology? ›

Speech input provides another option for individuals with disabilities. Speech recognition systems allow users to control computers by speaking words and letters. A particular system can be trained to recognize specific voices. Software can further aid those with mobility-related disabilities.

What are the 5 barriers for persons with disabilities? ›

According to the Government of Ontario, there are five identified barriers to accessibility for persons with disabilities. These barriers are attitudinal, organizational or systemic, architectural or physical, information or communications, and technology.

What are some sensory activities for adults? ›

Sensory Stimulation Activities for Adults:

Giving a gentle hand massage. Taking a short walk outdoors to provide a change of scenery. Talking or reading aloud to the resident. Organizing pets to come for visits.

How do you engage people with intellectual disabilities? ›

Let people know they are entitled to their opinion. Allow time for people to have their say, and listen to them carefully. Check your understanding of what people have said. Ask questions to clarify your understanding, or get people to repeat what they have said so that you are sure you understand.

What is Psbar? ›

The Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) Accessibility Regulations (PSBAR 2018) require public sector organisations to make their websites and mobile apps accessible.

What are accessibility needs examples? ›

Here are some of the most common examples of accessibility features that are also some of the easiest to start improving today.
  • Image alt text. ...
  • Keyboard accessibility. ...
  • Sequential heading structure. ...
  • Accessible hyperlinks. ...
  • Consistent navigation.
24 Nov 2020

How do disabled people access websites? ›

As they can't use a mouse to browse the site, you have to incorporate keyboard navigation into your website. Blind users will use Braille keyboards to access your site. Make sure disabled users can access all interactive elements of your website, including: URLs.

How can disabled people make life easier? ›

10 Things to Help Disabled People Make Life Easier
  1. Reachers. ...
  2. Get an Ex N' Flex. ...
  3. Have a Handicapped Transportation Service on Speed Dial. ...
  4. Certified Home Health Care Aide. ...
  5. Invest in an e-Reader. ...
  6. Subscribe to a Medical Alert/Alarm Service. ...
  7. Specialized Mattresses. ...
  8. Adjust Your Home.
7 Dec 2013

How can disabled people improve their lives? ›

10 ways to make society more inclusive for people with...
  1. View the Disability Community as a Valuable Consumer. ...
  2. Employ People with Disabilities- They are Ambitious and Want to Work. ...
  3. Increase Disability Representation in Political Setting. ...
  4. Integrate Disability History in School Curriculums.

What is disabled friendly infrastructure? ›

The guidelines for construction of building insists on colleges to ensure creation of special facilities such as ramps, rails, and special toilets and make other necessary changes to suit the special needs of differently abled persons. These facilities are mandatory.

What best technology can you offer to a blind person and why? ›

Reading Assistance
  • JAWS Screen Reader. JAWS stands for Job Access With Speech and is a popular screen reader. ...
  • Kurzweil Education. This text-to-speech software can help those who are blind or visually impaired use computers and also can read scanned printed material. ...
  • Refreshable Braille Displays.
2 Aug 2022

What are some examples of high tech assistive technology? ›

Examples include:
  • power wheelchairs and scooters.
  • digital hearing aids.
  • computers with specialized software such as voice recognition or magnification software.
  • electronic aids to daily living.
  • digital hands-free headsets.
  • voice activated telephones.
  • communication devices with voices.
  • bluetooth integration.

What is assistive technology for visually impaired? ›

There are many low-tech visual aids that can help older adults with visual impairment, such as magnifying glasses, a long cane, glasses, optoelectronic reading systems (i.e., video magnifier), large-print books, audiobooks, a touch watch, a phone with enlarged buttons, books in Braille, and walking aids.

What are examples of assistive technology for autism? ›

Examples include battery-operated sensory toys, visual timers, and social skills videos. High-tech AT is digital technology and can include anything from augmentative communication technology for non-verbal people to robots built to increase social skills in children on the spectrum.

What is an example of adaptive technology? ›

Examples include: Screen readers. Magnification applications. Text-to-speech synthesizers.

Which technology helps users with disabilities to work on a computer? ›

Assistive technology is a generic term that describes tools used by people with disabilities to accomplish tasks. The following technologies help people use computers to access the web: Screen readers: Software used by blind or visually impaired people to read the content of the computer screen.

What smart devices have been created to help people with disabilities? ›

Helpful Smart Devices for People with Disabilities
  • Amazon Echo. Amazon Echo is a smart speaker that can respond to voice commands. ...
  • Smart Thermostats. ...
  • Smart Blinds/Curtains. ...
  • Personal Emergency Response Systems. ...
  • Smart Locks. ...
  • Video Doorbells. ...
  • Robotic Vacuum Cleaners.
30 Mar 2021

How can disabled people make life easier? ›

10 Things to Help Disabled People Make Life Easier
  1. Reachers. ...
  2. Get an Ex N' Flex. ...
  3. Have a Handicapped Transportation Service on Speed Dial. ...
  4. Certified Home Health Care Aide. ...
  5. Invest in an e-Reader. ...
  6. Subscribe to a Medical Alert/Alarm Service. ...
  7. Specialized Mattresses. ...
  8. Adjust Your Home.
7 Dec 2013

How can we help wheelchair users? ›

Assisting a Wheelchair User: The Do's And Don'ts
  1. DON'T provide unsolicited help. ...
  2. DO treat the person like everyone else. ...
  3. DON'T touch the wheelchair unless allowed. ...
  4. DO communicate clearly with the wheelchair user. ...
  5. DON'T be reckless with the wheelchair. ...
  6. DO take some time to look around our blog and read about our products.
21 Mar 2016

What is a assistive mobility devices? ›

These devices are intended to assist passengers with a disability to hear, see, communicate, maneuver, or perform other functions of daily life. Assistive devices include (but are not limited to): Crutches, Canes, and Walkers. Braces/Prosthetics. Wheelchairs.

How can smart homes help people with disabilities? ›

You can write commands in Google Assistant on your phone or tablet. You can use these commands to control smart devices without speaking.
...
You can control smart home devices using:
  • smartphones.
  • tablets.
  • laptops.
  • voice-activated hubs like Apple HomeKit, Amazon Echo or Google Nest.
3 Aug 2022

What are smart wheelchairs? ›

A smart wheelchair is a power wheelchair (PWC) that collects information on driver behavior and interaction with their environment. This is done through the use of sensors and/or cameras positioned to provide feedback on a driver's ability to control the device and navigate their environment safely.

Is a wheelchair assistive technology? ›

Assistive products maintain or improve an individual's functioning and independence, thereby promoting their well-being. Hearing aids, wheelchairs, communication aids, spectacles, prostheses, pill organizers and memory aids are all examples of assistive products.

What are the 5 psychological adjustment to physical disability? ›

The stages of adjusting to a new form of disability include four basic ones. These stages include shock, denial, anger/depression, and adjustment/acceptance. People progress through these stages at their own pace.

How do you motivate disabled people? ›

5 Simple Ways to Empower a Person with a Disability
  1. See the Person First, Not the Disability. ...
  2. Ask Questions to Learn About the Person Behind the Disability. ...
  3. Listen to the Person Behind the Disability. ...
  4. Encourage Decision Making to Promote Independence for People with Disabilities. ...
  5. Promote Disability Inclusivity.

What are wheelchair activities? ›

10 Awesome Activities for Wheelchair Users
  • Galleries and museums. Browsing around a gallery or museum is a stimulating activity that can be either solitary or social. ...
  • Nature trails. ...
  • Swimming. ...
  • Billiards. ...
  • Bowling. ...
  • Team sports. ...
  • Boating/Fishing. ...
  • Dance.
2 Jul 2017

What are examples of low-tech assistive technology? ›

  • Slant boards.
  • Pencil grips.
  • Adapted paper (e.g., colored, raised line, and with portions highlighted)
  • Word banks.
  • Dictionary/thesaurus.
  • Alternative keyboards.
  • Digital recorders.
  • Spelling devices, and even computers with word processing software.
26 Oct 2020

What is low cost assistive technology? ›

Under the NDIS, low cost assistive technology includes items and devices that improve functioning, independence and wellbeing valued at less than $1500 each. It may also cover adapting an everyday item for your use. Funding can be seen in your Core – Consumables budget under low cost assistive technology.

What is an example of adaptive technology? ›

Examples include: Screen readers. Magnification applications. Text-to-speech synthesizers.

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